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AP English Language and Composition

2003 Free-Response Questions

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2003 AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS

ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION


SECTION II
Total time2 hours
Question 1

(Suggested time40 minutes. This question counts one-third of the total essay section score.)

In his 1998 book Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, Neal Gabler wrote the following.
One does not necessarily have to cluck in disapproval to admit that entertainment
is all the things its detractors say it is: fun, effortless, sensational, mindless, formulaic,
predictable and subversive. In fact, one might argue that those are the very reasons so
many people love it.
At the same time, it is not hard to see why cultural aristocrats in the nineteenth century
and intellectuals in the twentieth hated entertainment and why they predicted, as one
typical nineteenth century critic railed, that its eventual effect would be to overturn all
morality, to poison the springs of domestic happiness, to dissolve the ties of our social
order, and to involve our country in ruin.
Write a thoughtful and carefully constructed essay in which you use specific evidence to defend, challenge,
or qualify the assertion that entertainment has the capacity to ruin society.

Copyright 2003 by College Entrance Examination Board. All rights reserved.


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2003 AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS
Question 2

(Suggested time40 minutes. This question counts one-third of the total essay section score.)

Alfred M. Green delivered the following speech in Philadelphia in April 1861, the first month of the Civil War.
African Americans were not yet permitted to join the Union army, but Green felt that they should strive to be
admitted to the ranks and prepare to enlist. Read the speech carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze
the methods that Green uses to persuade his fellow African Americans to join the Union forces.

The time has arrived in the history of the great create within us that burning zeal and enthusiasm
Republic when we may again give evidence to the for the field of battle which inspires other men
world of the bravery and patriotism of a race in in the full enjoyment of every civil and religious
Line whose hearts burns the love of country, of freedom, 30 emolument, yet let us endeavor to hope for the future
5 and of civil and religious toleration. It is these grand and improve the present auspicious moment for
principles that enable men, however proscribed, when creating anew our claims upon the justice and honor
possessed of true patriotism, to say, My country, of the Republic; and, above all, let not the honor and
right or wrong, I love thee still! glory achieved by our fathers be blasted or sullied by
It is true, the brave deeds of our fathers, sworn and 35 a want of true heroism among their sons.
10 subscribed to by the immortal Washington of the Let us, then, take up the sword, trusting in God,
Revolution of 1776, and by Jackson and others in the who will defend the right, remembering that these are
War of 1812, have failed to bring us into recognition other days than those of yore; that the world today is
as citizens, enjoying those rights so dearly bought by on the side of freedom and universal political
those noble and patriotic sires. 40 equality; that the war cry of the howling leaders of
15 It is true that our injuries in many respects are Secession and treason is: Let us drive back the
great; fugitive-slave laws, Dred Scott* decisions, advance guard of civil and religious freedom; let us
indictments for treason, and long and dreary months have more slave territory; let us build stronger the
of imprisonment. The result of the most unfair rules tyrant system of slavery in the great American
of judicial investigation has been the pay we have 45 Republic. Remember, too, that your very presence
20 received for our solicitude, sympathy and aid in the among the troops of the North would inspire your
dangers and difficulties of those days that tried oppressed brethren of the South with zeal for the
mens souls. overthrow of the tyrant system, and confidence in the
Our duty, brethren, is not to cavil over past armies of the living Godthe God of truth, justice
grievances. Let us not be derelict to duty in the time 50 and equality to all men.
25 of need. While we remember the past and regret that
our present position in the country is not such as to * A slave who sued in federal court for his and his familys freedom

Copyright 2003 by College Entrance Examination Board. All rights reserved.


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2003 AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
FREE-RESPONSE QUESTIONS
Question 3

(Suggested time40 minutes. This question counts one-third of the total essay section score.)
The two passages below, one by John James Audubon and the other by Annie Dillard, describe large flocks of birds
in flight. Read the passages carefully. Then write an essay in which you compare and contrast how each writer
describes the birds and conveys their effect on the writer as observer.
Passage 1 Passage 2
In the autumn of 1813, I left my house at Out of the dimming sky a speck appeared, then
Henderson, on the banks of the Ohio, on my way to another, and another. It was the starlings going to
Louisville. In passing over the Barrens a few miles roost. They gathered deep in the distance, flock sifting
Line beyond Hardensburgh, I observed the pigeons flying Line into flock, and strayed towards me, transparent and
5 from north-east to south-west, in greater numbers than 5 whirling, like smoke. They seemed to unravel as they
I thought I had ever seen them before, and feeling an flew, lengthening in curves, like a loosened skein.1
inclination to count the flocks that might pass within I didnt move; they flew directly over my head for
the reach of my eye in one hour, I dismounted, seated half an hour. The flight extended like a fluttering
myself on an eminence, and began to mark with my banner, an unfurled oriflamme2, in either direction as
10 pencil, making a dot for every flock that passed. In a 10 far as I could see. Each individual bird bobbed and
short time finding the task which I had undertaken knitted up and down in the flight at apparent random,
impracticable, as the birds poured in in countless for no known reason except that thats how starlings
multitudes, I rose, and counting the dots then put fly, yet all remained perfectly spaced. The flocks each
down, found that 163 had been made in twenty-one tapered at either end from a rounded middle, like an
15 minutes. I travelled on, and still met more the farther 15 eye. Over my head I heard a sound of beaten air, like
I proceeded. The air was literally filled with Pigeons; a million shook rugs, a muffled whuff. Into the woods
the light of noon-day was obscured as by an eclipse; they sifted without shifting a twig, right through the
the dung fell in spots, not unlike melting flakes of crowns of trees, intricate and rushing, like wind.
snow; and the continued buzz of wings had a After half an hour, the last of the stragglers had
20 tendency to lull my senses to repose. 20 vanished into the trees. I stood with difficulty, bashed
Whilst waiting for dinner at YOUNGs inn, at the by the unexpectedness of this beauty, and my spread
confluence of Salt-River with the Ohio, I saw, at my lungs roared. My eyes pricked from the effort of
leisure, immense legions still going by, with a front trying to trace a feathered dots passage through a
reaching far beyond the Ohio on the west, and weft 3 of limbs. Could tiny birds be sifting through me
25 the beech-wood forests directly on the east of me. 25 right now, birds winging through the gaps between
Not a single bird alighted; for not a nut or acorn my cells, touching nothing, but quickening in my
was that year to be seen in the neighbourhood. They tissues, fleet?
consequently flew so high, that different trials to
reach them with a capital rifle proved ineffectual; Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 1974
30 nor did the reports disturb them in the least. I cannot
describe to you the extreme beauty of their aerial 1A length of yarn or thread wound in a loose, elongated
evolutions, when a Hawk chanced to press upon the coil
rear of a flock. At once, like a torrent, and with a 2 An ensign, banner, or standard
noise like thunder, they rushed into a compact mass, 3 The horizontal threads in a piece of weaving
35 pressing upon each other towards the centre. In
these almost solid masses, they darted forward in
undulating and angular lines, descended and swept
close over the earth with inconceivable velocity,
mounted perpendicularly so as to resemble a vast
40 column, and, when high, were seen wheeling and
twisting within their continued lines, which then
resembled the coils of a gigantic serpent.
John James Audubon, END OF EXAMINATION
Ornithological Biographies, 1831-1839
Copyright 2003 by College Entrance Examination Board. All rights reserved.
Available to AP professionals at apcentral.collegeboard.com and to
students and parents at www.collegeboard.com/apstudents.